Otumfuo Osei Tutu II
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, will launch a $10 million fundraising drive for the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital’s (KATH’s) reconstruction project on Friday, November 10, 2023.
The renovation project, which is dubbed: “Heal Komfo Anokye Hospital Project,” has become necessary due to the continuous deterioration of the hospital buildings constructed 70 years ago.
Already, management of the hospital has done an initial assessment of the refurbished works to be done on the four blocks, with the cost put at $10 million by the Public Works Department.
Sammy Adu Boakye, Chairman of the Heal Komfo Anokye Hospital Project Committee, stated that the time had come to bring the region’s only referral hospital up to date.
According to him, KATH is the region’s only teaching hospital, and management will not be forgiven if it is allowed to deteriorate.
The renovation works will provide all four GEE Blocks with modern wards, nurse work stations, and key installations such as firefighting systems, lightning protection, and a general conducive environment for the provision of quality healthcare for patients and a friendly working environment for staff.
He said KATH, with 1,200 bed capacity, gets patients from 12 of the 16 regions and Ghana’s neighbours, despite being the sole major referral hospital in the northern section of the country.
Mr. Boakye said in its 70-year history, the hospital’s blocks have seen no significant improvements, with roofs leaking amid stained and peeled walls inside the wards.
Many of its electrical lines are also dangling freely, putting patients and health professionals in danger, while the outdated windows generate heat in the wards on a sunny day, he added.
According to him, because the design of the wards makes mosquito nets impossible to place, they have also become mosquito breeding grounds.
The washrooms are in disrepair, and the hospital lacks a firefighting system, such as hose reels, fire hydrants, and sprinklers, as well as a fire detector and a lightning protection system, exposing the high capacity machines and equipment to frequent breakdowns caused by lightning.
KATH was constructed by the British firm, Gee, Walker & Slater Limited during 1952-1954 to replace the then segregated hospital located on the hill overlooking Bantama Township known as the African and European Hospitals.
By 1952, there was a pressing need to build a new hospital to serve the Ashanti Region’s rapidly growing population.
As a result, the European Hospital was relocated to the Kwadaso Military Quarters to allow for the start of the new project.
During the reign of Prempeh II, the 14th Asantehene, the new hospital complex was built in 1954/55 and designated the Kumasi Central Hospital.
Even though Samuel Gee’s name became linked with the hospital, the name was later changed to the Komfo Anokye Hospital in honour and memory of the strong and famed fetish priest, Komfo Anokye.
The hospital became a teaching hospital in 1975 for the training of medical students in collaboration with the School of Medical Sciences of the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi.
At the time of its development, the $10.2 million hospital was regarded as a “prestige project” overseen by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the British.
By Ernest Kofi Adu